Number of Baptists worldwide

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by bb_baptist, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
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    Does anyone have the number of Baptists worldwide? Or the method to calculate it?

    I think most Baptists are included in the Baptist World Alliance membership number (43 million), and if we add the number of independent Baptists in the US (??million) we'd be very close.
     
  2. bb_baptist

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  3. Jamal5000

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    Hi Webmaster,

    Try this site I stumbled across:

    www.adherents.com

    Take it Easy,
    Jamal5000 [​IMG]
     
  4. bb_baptist

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    Jamal, I couldn't find any total for all Baptists.

    I'd like to somehow calculate the total number of Baptists worldwide.
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    Below you will find the world total of Baptists as calculated by Albert W. Wardin and recorded in his book, Baptists Around the World on page 473 (1995, Broadman & Holman).

    WORLD TOTAL - 37,334,191 members in 157,240 churches

    Africa - 3,084,674/19,572

    Asia & Oceania - 2,963,770/22,676

    Europe/Eurasia - 918,826/11,081

    Latin America & Caribbean - 1,983,410/12,726

    Northern America - 28,387,511/91,185

    The five greatest concentrations of Baptists are in the following countries: USA (28,156,504), India (1,383,883), Brazil (1,176,098), Zaire (765,585), and Nigeria (629,586).

    You will notice that Wardin's total is lower than that of the total for the Baptist World Alliance. I think two things will help explain that: (1) Wardin's total is from 1995 and I assume the BWA number is for 2000; and (2) Wardin's work accounts for dual affiliations (churches that are members of more than one convention or association) and some miscounts, while the BWA simply reports the totals supplied to them by each member organization.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Although memberships were unavailable or had to be estimated for many bodies, the volume nevertheless contains the most comprhensive statisical analysis of Baptists worldwide. Preface xxxii<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>In my opinion this is still the best world total currently available, although it would be low because of some statistics that were not available to the author.

    [ December 26, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  6. bb_baptist

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    Does this include independent Baptists? If so, how can I get comfortable with the independent Baptist number used?
     
  7. bb_baptist

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    Where can I get a copy of the book? Is there an updated version?

    I found a used copy at Amazon for $46 but can't tell what edition it is (migh be pre-1995).
     
  8. bb_baptist

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  9. rlvaughn

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    To date, there has been only only one edition of Baptists Around the World (1995). I will look at the independent Baptist numbers this afternoon. If my memory serves me correctly it includes "independents" such as Baptist Bible Fellowship Int., Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, World Baptist Fellowship, Southwide Baptist Fellowship, New Testament Assn., etc., but not completely unaffiliated churches. I am sure about the former, but must refresh my memory as to how he dealt with the latter.
     
  10. rlvaughn

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    This statement below from Wardin's book will, I think, indicate that there is really no count of totally unaffiliated independent Baptist churches. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Unfortunately, there is no national survey of these congregations, and their numbers and locations remain largely unknown. (p.403)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> There are some available numbers, such as my count of unaffiliated Landmark Baptists, and directories printed by unaffiliated churches that they use to help missionaries find churches, etc. But all these different sources have never been put into any kind of format that makes sense of the total unaffiliated Baptist picture in the world (or even the United States for that matter).
     
  11. bb_baptist

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    Is there any way to reasobly estimate the number of Baptists in unaffiliated independent Baptist churches?
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    I think we could reasonably assume an average church size based on an average from known unaffiliated Baptist churches. The problem is that there has been no detailed study of how many unaffiliated Baptist churches there are in the United States. I know there are also unaffiliated Baptists outside the United States, but the largest number of them probably are in the US (and therefore the greatest problem statistically). When I attended the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies this fall, the main presentation was on electronic data collection. I think this is probably the best way to get an unaffiliated count, and I was motivated to do something about it - until I found the great time and expense involved, and that I am too computer illiterate to do it on my own!! :( [​IMG] . The other groups that are doing this are denominations (SBC, Lutheran Missouri Synod, Church of the Nazarene, etc.) and have access to denominational funding and resources. It can be done without the internet. Mac Lynn did it for the "acappela churches of Christ" and published a list of these churches in a book.
     

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